Tanning Beds are Addictive

Sun damage is very common, especially after the summer. Wrinkles, fine lines, and pigment spots are bound to show up after excess time in the sun.

Luckily, our Atlanta plastic surgery practice can combat this damage with skin resurfacing techniques. That doesn’t mean you should sit out and bake to your heart’s desire though, especially when it comes to tanning beds.

Roughly 120,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States. Even despite the fact that melanoma is a major issue, people are fake-baking now more than ever. But scientists may have found the reason as to why people continue to use tanning beds at their own risk. The UT Southwestern Medical Center performed a recent study that suggests that tanning beds cause a neurological reward-and-reinforcement trigger in people. Therefore, people are actually addicted to fake baking.

It seems that brain activity and corresponding blood flow found in drug and alcohol addicts, is found to be very similar in people who use tanning beds. After each session of tanning, the person who has tanned feels rewarded, even though they know they could be doing some severe damage to their skin. The rewarding feeling outweighs the potential damage, meaning they will more than likely return for another session soon.

Tanning is especially popular with the younger crowd. Unfortunately for them, people under thirty years old who fake bake at least ten times a year are eight times more likely to develop malignant melanoma. Consider the fact that regular fake bakers usually utilize tanning beds far more often than that, and they are on the road to skin cancer very fast. Before you use a tanning bed, I urge you to think about the many consequences.

To your health and beauty,
Alan N. Larsen, MD

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